The training for Mayo Clinic's Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship consists of 12 months of clinical training, complemented by research experience.

During your clinical training, you:

  • Learn to use opiates, narcotic equivalences and dose conversions
  • Coordinate and lead family meetings
  • Learn empathic interviewing techniques
  • Learn prognostic criteria for patients with life-limiting illnesses
  • Perform functional assessments to assist in coordinating care
  • Learn how to discuss palliative treatment options with patients, families and professionals
  • Perform visitation and home care as an important component of end-of-life care
  • Work with the ethics committee and ethics consult service
  • Demonstrate excellence in communication among the patient, family and palliative care team
  • Research and publish articles on palliative medicine
  • Coordinate and perform bereavement evaluation and follow-up
  • Demonstrate cost-effective symptom evaluation and management
  • Lecture and teach medical students, nurses and other members of the health care team the special aspects of palliative medical care
  • Learn and apply Medicare and Medicaid rules and regulations as well as managed care and HMO mandates
  • Take a spiritual history and be sensitive to cultural variations
  • Incorporate patients' cultural, spiritual and experiential perspectives to design individualized care plans


The typical rotation schedule for the one-year program includes:

Required rotations

Rotation Length
Inpatient consultation service 4 months
Hospice of the Valley 2 months
Inpatient hospice 2 months
Continuity clinic 12 months (1/2 day a week, concurrent with other rotations)
Pediatric hospice 2 weeks
Electives 3.5 months

Elective rotations

Elective rotations include:

  • Pain service
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Neurology and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) clinic
  • Research
  • Cardiology
  • Pulmonary clinic
  • Pediatric palliative care
  • Integrative medicine

Didactic training

Clinical conferences, seminars, small discussion groups, journal clubs and one-on-one instruction are an integral part of Mayo Clinic's Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship. Behavioral medicine is integrated throughout the year of your training.

Weekly conferences and monthly half-day seminars cover primary care topics, including discussion of ethical dilemmas faced by physicians in training.

Case studies/mortality and morbidity conference

You will prepare and present the pertinent information of an interesting case, conduct an in-depth discussion of that case and supply a current bibliography. These conferences are done in conjunction with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

Research training

Research opportunities at Mayo Clinic are outstanding. During the course of this fellowship, you design and complete a research project under the close mentorship of one of our experienced clinician-researchers.

You also learn about research through observation and participation in the design and conduct of ongoing clinical trials.

Jan. 06, 2014